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What is Upcycling? Upcycling vs Recycling


While we are all too used to recycling as a concept that is part of our daily lives, what do we actually know about upcycling or suprarecycling? Below we'll tell you a little more about this concept, clarifying certain doubts that may arise:


What does Upcycling mean?

It consists of utilising objects which, along with some creativity can be turned into objects of greater value.

Thanks to this new resource, using a base material or object intended for recycling, it's then turned into something else with a new functionality.

Upcycling means that old products destined to be discarded, are modified and given a second life, obtaining a new product of greater value, while avoiding an industrial process.

The following video explains this term in a simple and easy way:


Where does the term upcycling come from?

In 1994, the term upcycling was born from the combination of two English words: upgrade and recycle, indicating the act of creating new, higher-value products from recycled materials.


Difference between Upcycling and Recycling

Certain differences that can be found between the two are as follows:

  • By recycling we mean, the industrial process whereby a waste product is transformed into a new material, which will be used as a raw material to create another product.
  • While Upcycling is a recycling process based on creativity, in which objects that are no longer used, that will probably be thrown away, are given a new form or use.

Upcycling aims to keep a products in circulation for as long as possible, providing greater value products compared to the original ones.


differences between recycling and upcycling


Is upcycling sustainable?

Absolutely yes! Indeed, is a creative tool for creating solutions and reinventing from what already exists, as well as promoting the circular economy, making the most of the existing resources.

Day by day, upcycling has a growing number of followers, and no wonder, given that within an industrial production, with highly polluting components, upcycling is presented as an alternative to mass consumption.


Upcycling in the fashion world

Each year more than 6 million tonnes of waste end up in the oceans, harming natural ecosystems and polluting the planet. In Spain alone, more than 400,000 tonnes of textile waste is generated every year, including clothing and household goods. Along with resources and energy consumed manufacturing new garments, wardrobe renewal every season, which involves a very high and quite dispensable economic cost.

The textile industry is rated as the second most polluting industry, as it produces a great deal of waste and emissions, while consuming a large amount of resources. As a matter of fact, to make a single standard T-shirt, between 1,000 and 4,000 litres of water may be used. Furthermore, it has been proven that, generally, we only use 20% of all the clothes we own. As if these were not enough, unfortunately, many are the brands that, in order to increase their sale, make us believe that they are sustainable when in fact they are not. If you want to learn how to distinguish them, don't miss our blog post "What is Greenwashing?".

When it comes to Upcycling in fashion, we refer to using a recycled material as a basis for making or producing a higher-value yet more practical product.


The Upcycling for Bullfeet

At Bullfeet we are determined to demonstate that sustainability, fashion and design can go hand in hand. Plastic bottles and its tops, clothing destined to end up in landfills, unusable cork...are just some of the materials we give a second life to, creating fabrics to make our products. We manufacture in an ecological way on demand reducing CO2 emissions as well as following our zero stock policy. 

Our eco-friendly shoes are made exclusively for each customer, allowing them to choose all the materials from our customiser and then, make it happen for them.




One of our main materials is the recycled polyester or PET, a fabric entirely made from recycled plastic. Often similar to fabrics such as canvas or denim.


Green High Tops

Other of our classic materials that triumphs with everyone who tries it, is the one created from a mixture of recycled cork and PET. Both components are bound with ecological cottons, giving rise to this soft touch extraordinary material, that looks and feels like natural cork. Each and everyone who tries our cork sneakers simply loves them.


Cork High Top


Among the innovations of 2022 is this fabric made from recycled clothing. We shred clothing destined to end up in landfills, since it can neither be donated nor reused, so we blend it together with ecological cottons and threads to make a fabric from which we produce sneakers and bags. As a result, every product will be different from each other, no two will ever be the same. This process shreads the whole garment with its labels, seams, etc. , allowing us to find some of the most unique remains in this fabric.

Recycled clothing sneakers

This season we have also introduced new soles made from recycled rubber and recycled plastic tops.


Black sneakers

At Bullfeet we are strongly committed to recycling and sustainability, aiming at proving day by day that another way of looking at fashion is possible. Thus all our production processes are ecological on demand, in order to manufacture exactly what we need, following our zero stock policy. In addition, all our materials are vegan and environmentally friendly. Come in now and you will see how easy it is to design your own sustainable shoes from scratch.

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